Monday, December 19, 2011

Advent: Peace

Saskatchewan sunset

For an anxioid, peace can be hard to come by.  My brain is hardwired to think everything, every day, is an emergency, and my nine years as a paramedic and some early life experiences reenforced this messed up brain's approach to the world.  I was born with no filter in my mind to allow me to tune out all of our naked, wide open vulnerability to pain and suffering.  And then I walked out into a job world of suicide, house fires, and drowned babies; where death was normal, and heart attacks were every day.  Some nights I still wrestle to fall asleep, even after years of treatment and balance.  Peace is tough.  Every bit of it is hard won.

I think this is true for the human race, entirely.  None of us gets out alive, none lives unscathed, no one arrives at the end intact.  War, poverty, racism... A lack of water, for God's sake; how much more basic can our human depravity get?!  When we find pockets of peace, they are beautiful.  A few years to create art, build civil societies, and have babies are miraculous.  They are hard won and lavish gifts.  Thanks to the law of entropy, they are brief.

For me, peace comes with feeling grounded and still, despite my lack of a filter, despite having no guard in front of my heart and mind, despite the howling possibilities of tragedy.  Life doesn't stop screaming around me; I simply feel my feet on the ground in the midst of it all.  Jesus grounds me.  He roots me to the ground through my children, my husband, beauty, art, music, and laughter.  He roots me to the ground by walking with me.

Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness
and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace

I don't need rescuing from the storm.  I just need to know and be known.

Although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I fear no evil;
Thou art with me cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


lori said...

Beautiful. Timely.

Jen said...

Love this. May you know his peace in abundance this Christmas.

melissa v. said...

Thanks, lovelies! This has been my year of peace, truly. Some small hiccups, but overwhelmingly, peaceful.